Pittsburgh Music Collection
“Have A Nice Day”
Released February 28th, 2017
By Duncan H. Ros
Anyone who frequents Pittsburgh’s all-ages music scene wouldn’t find it uncommon to run into Connor Murray, a marketing major at Pitt and founder of record label startup Crafted Sounds. Identifiable by his denim jacket with a smiley face on the back captioned with “Have A Nice Day,” Murray has made a splash in the Pittsburgh music scene April of last year.
Originally from Baltimore, Murray became interested in the low-fi production of cassette based labels in the D.C. area while still in junior high and listening to groups like Sails, who use a minimalist approach to composition and production. “I never played an instrument before and I tried it and I was absolutely terrible,” said Murray. “I don’t recommend picking up an instrument in the middle of high school. It works for some people but God bless them not for me.” Murray decided to take his interest in music and start a label as a hobby.
Taking inspiration from labels such as Friends Records and Babe City Records, Murray released his first tape Moon Lighting by the Santa Fe group Flossy Clouds. “At that point I hadn’t thought about working with local artists because I knew I was coming to Pitt,” said Murray. “Baltimore was very set in its ways in terms of music. . . It’s hard to get your foot in the door.” Murray released albums from Father Tribe and High Sunn before moving to Pittsburgh and making friends with Ryan Hartman from local low-fi indie rock band Surf Board. “Ryan helped me get into social situations to meet people,” said Murray. “It’s kind of intimidating because there are people that have been here for four or more years playing music. You don’t want to come off too naïve or that you know what you’re doing when you don’t.” Indeed, it is Murray’s commitment to face to face interaction that has helped spurned the label. “That’s a big problem with people of my generation. People don’t want to pick up the phone or shake somebody’s hand and say ‘hey.’ That goes a long way,” said Murray.
The latest release by Crafted Sounds is a compilation record called Have a nice day. – A Pittsburgh Collection and features fifteen songs from local artists. The compilation was originally meant to highlight bands in western Pennsylvania, but naturally became focused on the Pittsburgh area based on Murray’s expanding web of local connections. Featured artists include Spacefish, AllegrA and Jack Stauber. “It was cool to come here and see that people were doing crazy stuff to express themselves,” said Murray on putting together the compilation. “I went online and tried to find a mixed alternative genre formation of artists I had seen at a show or that I never heard of.”
What sets this release apart from the earlier releases of Crafted Sounds (as well as other labels in the region) is that the proceeds from this compilation are going towards Planned Parenthood after Murray pulled his Twitter followers on various other causes. Murray was never an overtly political person growing up, but after watching the election and experiencing the divide of the country while attending Pitt he felt that he could have a beneficial impact towards a cause he and his supporters believed in. “I don’t expect to make a ton of money off of this,” said Murray, “but I hope after this semester to go to a local planned parenthood location and to drop off the money and say ‘have a nice day.’”
This is the track listing for Have a nice day. – A Pittsburgh Collection:
1. Sleep Movies – The Ride
2. Rue – It Could Be You
3. Honey – Blue Narcissus (Demo)
4. Surf Bored – Disorder (Cover)
5. pinstripe sunny – red colored elegy
6. Christ Shrift – Werewolf Whistlin’
7. mt. marcy – i miss you
8. wwoman – Eating ass
9. String Machine – Garden
10. Brianna Snider – special place
11. Capsule Corp – Water Aerobics (Demo)
12. AllegrA – wool or fleece
13. Spacefish – Waxed
14. IT IT – Everyone Can Win
15. Jack Stauber – Birds in the Window (Live)
Have a nice day. – A Pittsburgh Collection will be released on February 28th, available on bandcamp. There will be a release show at Dogfunk on Thursday, March 2nd featuring Jack Stauber, Pinstripe Sunny, Side Ape and Surf Bored as well as a benefit show at The Bushnel on Saturday, March 18th featuring Capsule Corp, Rue, Spacefish, String Machine and wwoman.